Gem Session @sinfulnature1123
Distance, Rules, and Standards

Caroline sat in her garden, looking around at the overgrown and quite frankly hostile plantlife.

How exactly the life here had grown so aggressively and violently was a mystery. At least it was to outsiders. Caroline knew it well and bitterly.

Much as she hated those spiky coiling flower bearing thorn bushes, she couldn't leave them. More actually, she knew that she shouldn't leave them.

Being a quartz, especially one armed with an axe, it would be a trivial matter to cut through the aggressive organic life. But if she did that, it was possible that Homeworld, or the dregs of the Crystal gems, or the corrupted monsters that gems on either side were reduced to, might find her.

Quartz soldiers were meant to be powerful, sturdy gems. But there was no place in the world for a rose quartz, not anymore.

Homeworld wanted all of them bubbled or shattered after THE Rose Quartz started her rebellion.

No sense risking another, never mind the fact that none of the rose quartz soldiers-the defective that started the war notwithstanding-would never do such a thing.

Of course, seeing how Homeworld, how the Diamonds, would treat their own loyal soldiers over nothing but a shared gem cut… Caroline shook her head, laying back on the soft ground.

Sometimes she wondered if it really was a miracle that she'd escaped, or if it would be better to be in a bubble, or in shards. She wouldn't have to spend her infinite time dwelling on what had happened that way.

Better than being reduced to one of those mindless monsters she supposed, if only barely. Her thoughts were often poison but they were at least actual thoughts.

And after round about four or five thousand years of madnessing nothing, sprinkled with a few curious attempts to explore beyond the hostile thorny foliage that Rebel Leader Rose Quartz had left behind that always ended in panicking and retreat, Ceylon found her.

Specifically a delivery drone Ceylon had sent, delivering with it a special communicator. She supposed it was silly to wonder how a sapphire had found her, but it was still baffling.

If she could, why had the homeworld sapphires not? What had Ceylon been looking for that allowed her to find a lost, half mental earth borne rose quartz?

Ceylon had refused to answer, but thankfully also refused to tell any of the other gems what she was, allowing her to go by whatever nickname she so chose.

Caroline, opting for a twinge of humor to brighten things up, had chosen her name as a pun; naming herself for the earth plant with which her gem type shared a name; roses.

If White Zircon knew such a plant existed she'd connect the dots immediately.

She and Olive had been swapping notes trying to figure out what she was for years now, but thankfully had consistently come up short. She wasn't entirely certain how much she trusted them.

Well, save for Ceylon and Lazurite of course. It had taken Caroline awhile to determine that Ceylon was being genuine and this wasn't all some elaborate set up to catch and have her shattered, but she trusted her.

And Lazurite… it took awhile for Caroline to realize exactly how much she trusted her. She just seemed to… get it, to understand what it was like to be alone.

The communicator beeped just as the pink quartz gem was starting to dwell. She sat up and reached out to the device to see what was being discussed.

Olive: I thought you said you were going to stop asking about R.

Zircon: And you said we'd both stop musing on what precisely Caroline and Emery are, we all say a lot of things.

Olive: That's different.

Zircon: Care to illuminate me on how exactly?

Olive: I'm a Peridot, I'm literally made to try and figure out stuff like this, I can't help it.

Zircon: A delightful display of assaging responsibility, but you see, I'm a Zircon, determining what's what is just as etched into my gem as curiosity into yours. I won't lie about my intentions to learn what's going on with these unnamed, but I'm at least willing to be up front about it.

Lazurite: Um, Caroline logged on.

Carolie: hi.

Olive and Zircon both went quiet for a bit, likely trying to figure out how they could backpedal while still winning their argument.

Given Zircon was a lawyer, Caroline had her money on them, but Olive was remarkably blunt and scrappy so it could go either way really.

When it became clear that both were currently spinning their wheels and likely would be for awhile, Caroline went to a sidebar with Lazurite.

Caroline: So they're still on it huh?

Lazurite: Yeah, sorry I tried to get them to stop but you know how they are.

Caroline: I don't really mind to be honest.

Well, half honest. It was kind of fun to her watching them pick apart what she said and how she said it to determine what gem she was; but she could still remember the soft sickness she'd felt in her gem when they narrowed it down to quartz.

Not that she could let that show, they'd pick up on that like an earthling predator picking up the scent of earthling red life fluid.

Caroline: How come you've never gotten curious about it?

Lazurite: Eh.. I spent a few millennia talking to a Desert Glass, I don't think it really matters what kind of gem you are. Not that I'm not a little curious, just don't really see the point in harassing you about it.

Caroline: Fair enough I guess. How is DG by the way?

Lazurite: Still cold and pragmatic as ever. Might be not having a physical form doing that, not sure.

Olive: Actually Desert Glass are more often than not somewhat devoid of expressive reactions even when feeling emotions quite intensely.

Caroline: Oh hey, they're back.

Zircon: Didn't go anywhere, was just getting my notes in order. Now, I've just got a few questions for you.

Caroline rolled her eyes, 'Here we go again.'

River was never sure how to feel about the silence in the spire.

It wasn't uncomfortable, and allowed her to focus whenever she needed to help her Morganite find something, but there was always something about the lack of sound that… rattled her.

She couldn't put her finger on why. She'd attempted to ask her Morganite about it, as it wasn't her own place as a Pearl to determine such a thing, and she had simply shrugged it off with no real answer.

River wasn't surprised. Her Morganite was a great thinker, musing on the true nature of stars and non-living light. She had little time for such trivial thoughts as a pearl's feelings on noise or lack thereof. Some of the friends she'd made from the Ceylon communicator seemed upset when she talked like that.

R, Emery, even Ceylon herself or Pink Lace Agate sometimes. She wasn't certain why at first, nor were some of the others. Mind you, she always wasn't sure why some of them were so surprised by the affection she spoke of her Morganite with.

Even Olive seemed to react with this same surprise upon learning that said affection didn't come from her customization setting. She showed affection to her Morganite because her Morganite deserved it. She was a wonderful, intelligent, and kind being.

She'd tried to explain it to the others, but none seemed to understand or agree. They asked all kinds of odd questions.

R: If you're only meant to be her assistant pearl, why did she make you learn to fight?

River had learned to summon a gem weapon, a bo staff, and fight to defend her Morganite, just in case.

She wanted to protect her of course. Other gems could work as guards of course, but as a pearl, she wasn't quite so valuable, and thus it made sense to let her handle mishaps wherever possible.

Pink Agate: Why does she leave you alone for so long in that spire?

Morganites were important gems, and had to devote their time to thinking through the non-military or engineering based issues that the empire faced.

She required time alone to think properly, and it made no sense to compromise that important, potentially critical thinking time over the discomforts of a pearl.

Zircon: Why exactly does she call you River?

Admittedly she was quite fond of answering that one, as it just went to show that her Morganite did care about her, despite what the others thought.

River was a Purple Pearl. Simply saying Pearl was far too bland, and Purple didn't roll off the tongue quite right.

So she had settled on the nickname River, indicating the fresh water that had been required for her creation.

Most of the gems seemed to find this answer satisfying, and Caroline had seemed to actively appreciate such a name.

But Olive…

Olive: So to be clear, she only gave you a name so she could stand out as having a uniquely named Pearl? Or was it so she wouldn't have to say a word she wasn't fond of.

Neither of course she had told Olive. The very thought was absurd. And even if it were true, it hardly mattered.

She was a pearl after all. The very fact that she was being allowed to communicate with them at all was a testament to how much her Morganite trusted her.

Green Spinel: Are you… sure that's really about trust?

River: What do you mean? Green Spinel: You mentioned that it came from Ceylon right?

River: Of course.

Green Spinel: Yeah… it sounds to me more like she just doesn't want to get in trouble with a higher ranking gem.

River: How can you speak so cruelly of such a kind gem?

Green Spinel: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ never met her, so I can't say for sure what she's like, but a lot of what she does sounds like what my Emerald does with extra steps and more words to make it sound better.

Lazurite: I can't really judge without knowing it for sure.

Maxixe: Sounds perfectly healthy to me. She's a pearl remember, fancy name, fancy Ceylon connection or not, no reason not to treat her as one.

Pink Agate: Maxixe.

Maxixe: What? It'd be disrespectful otherwise.

River: Thank you Maxixe. I'm glad someone is able to somewhat understand. I must leave now, my Morganite is calling me.

River quickly shut the communicator and hurried out to her Morganite. She was sitting at one of the spires many tables, star maps scattered about the surface with holographic diagrams hovering above.

It seems she had been attempting yet again to solve the issue of how to reach a proper warp speed without burning through so much energy.

River started to ask what Morganite needed her for, but a casual hand silenced the question, "Was tired of waiting for you to return. Come, stand here."

Morganite gestured to the spot next to where she was sitting at the table. River moved over, standing next to her Morganite as she returned to work. She remained silent as she watched.

Yellow-Green Jade sighed as she heard the communicator shake slightly as she sat down. A gem of her status didn't have an incredible amount of difficult work, but they did still have duties to attend to.

Even if they didn't require sleep like organic beings, a few straight days of attending to anything, even just aristocratic matters, was enough to wear out anyone, and rest was in order.

Resisting the urge to simply toss the communicator out the window and be done with it-she was certain a well aimed toss would land the device outside the dwelling block of one of those bitter old Demantoids and leave the shrapnel for them to clean up-she activated it and checked what discussion was so important as to interrupt the precious little-if lonely-peace time she had.

Maxixe: Oh so now you decide to join us.

Jade: Could just as easily never shown up.

Zircon: Now now, no need for snippiness. We were just wondering if you had been contacted by the Ceylon recently. Herself notwithstanding, you are the highest ranking gem in this little set up as far as we know, unless R or Caroline are secretly upper crusts.

Jade: I'm not certain rank has anything to do with it if I'm honest. Ceylon doesn't seem concerned with status.

Maxixe: I could tell that from her letting on a pearl and what I'm convinced are three different defectives.

Jade: hasn't Agate already told you to hush up this cycle? Were you just waiting for the clock to tick over so she'd be away and you could start carrying on again? It's old Maxixe, very, very old.

Maxixe's icon began to spin as she presumably a rant of some variety.

Zircon: Odd how your personality shifts.

Jade: Hm?

Zircon: Depending on when you respond, your level of aggression seems to fluctuate. Cycle before last you were perfectly docile with Maxixe's ramblings. Well… not directly outspoken against them at least.

Yellow-Green bit the inside of her mouth at this.

Jade: There's just only so much I can take of it at any given time is all. A bit like changing the oil in a ship, every so often I need to vent if I'm to remain civil.

Yellow-Jade wracked her mind for how to sound like a blue court gem, or maybe a white just to mess with their heads.

She would have to speak with Forest.

.

.

.

Forest Jade was on her way to her dwelling block when the communicator dinged with a message.

It wasn't uncommon for a jade to have such a device, so she felt no nervousness checking it and responding in public.

Olive: Jade already said that there's no correlation between rank and the information granted.

River: Oh, is that what Maxixe's rant was about?

Olive: I believe so. She didn't notice Jade and Zircon had logged off some time before she finally sent it.

Olive: Apologies to bringing you back Jade, carry on.

Forest suppressed a wry chuckle at this, scrolling up to see Yellow-Green's conversation with Maxixe and Zircon.

It really was amusing how quickly Maxixe went to anger. Forest couldn't help but wonder how much of it was real and how much was a put on.

Given how much she knew about putting on a show, she was confident that quite a bit was; perhaps more than Maxixe herself was aware of. Something to discuss with Yellow-Green she supposed.

.

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"A bit late tonight," Yellow-Green said, "Had to cover with Maxixe and Zircon." Forest nodded, "I saw, sorry. Planning a gala for an unimaginably picky Pyrope, miracle I'm even bad now. How's the station been?"

"Dreary as ever," Yellow-Green responded with a chuckle, "Honestly they can run it themselves with an era one peridot and a citrine on watch. Somewhat convinced they only keep us jades around for the view."

"Hard to argue with their logic at least." Forest Jade commented, a smile curling at the edge of her lips. Yellow-Green grit her teeth to hold in the giggle that had been about to escape.

Forest let it out for her as she approached, "Relax, I did a little looking around before I got back, the coast is clear. The other gems are all inside and the drones won't be around for inspection for a few hours at least."

Yellow-Green grinned properly at this, and gave a palm clap to activate their Song Stone. The living gem musical device had cost quite a bit, but its melodies were well worth it.

"Then what are we doing so far apart~?" She questioned, despite the two being less than a foot apart at this point/ forest Jade smiled again, taking Yellow-Green's hands.

The two began to dance gently to the stone's music, and less than a minute later, two became one. Imperial Jade continued to dance, together happily.

The two jades were only able to be themselves properly once every few weeks or so. They couldn't risk being found out, and took every measure possible to prevent suspicion.

They kept to their own lives and tasks, didn't communicate outside of what would be normal conversation for two jades of disparate courts, and even on the Ceylon communicators, took specific turns with specific gems at specific times to minimize the chance either would notice the little differences between the two, and thus wouldn't be able to catch on that the only time they genuinely engaged the conversation was as one.

Imperial Jade was just as curious about what Ceylon wanted with them as the others, whereas Yellow-Green and Jade couldn't afford to be. And she'd get back to the conversations with the others… as soon as she was finished enjoying this moment.

They'd been apart far too long this time.

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